While growth, which is the ultimate goal for


While environmental sustainability is an integral part of
emerging economies, protection of the environment and economic growth are often
seen as competing aim. If economic growth and healthcare development are top
priorities for developing countries is it necessary for the emerging country
governments to sacrifice natural resources and change their policy? This is the
main research question that will try to shed the light on this above given
claim by looking at economic and political points of view in favor and vise
versa.

 

To start with, I will introduce you the main link between
“improving living standards” and “sacrificing natural resources” that will
facilitate understanding the arguments I am going to present. Demand for
natural resources is correlated with economic growth, which is the ultimate
goal for emerging countries. Natural resources, renewable and non-renewable,
are fundamental to economic activity in many ways. Goods produced from
renewable natural capital include timber and non-timber forest products,
catches of wild fish, etc. Goods produced from non-renewable natural resources
are mainly oil and minerals. These goods form the basis of the economy in many
developing countries. Moreover, Natural capital is particularly important in
developing countries. It accounts for an estimated 26% of total wealth in
low-income countries, 13% of wealth in middle-income countries and only 2% of
wealth in industrialized or OECD (The Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development) countries. Economic growth sounds fantastic. However,
humanity’s rapidly growing consumption of these resources is causing severe
damage. Our climate is changing; fresh water reserves, fish stocks and forests
are shrinking; fertile land is being destroyed and species are becoming
extinct. There are several arguments in favor of the research statement.

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Firstly, the rise of emerging markets is expected to rice that pushes
consumption of a range of resources higher. For example, in 2010, China
overtook the USA to become the world’s largest consumer of energy, yet in per
capita terms, consumption remains low, indicating that energy demand in China
still has some way to go (The Wall Street
Journal, edition 2010, July10). Secondly, demographic growth of emerging
countries should be taken into consideration because it is related to the trend
boosting demand for raw materials because of increasing needs, due to
construction, transport and infrastructure. Thirdly, one of the main demand
drivers for natural resources is the expansion of the global middle class, and
in turn, the growth of consumer expenditure. As we all know, there is a
considerable growth of middle class in emerging countries. These middle class
households are buying more customer goods and increasing demand of energy,
metal, water, etc. Government should satisfy their needs indirectly meaning
that they are sacrificing natural resources of their own country or of the
importers’ countries. Last but not least is technological advancement of
emerging countries. The emergence of new technologies lead to increased demand
of natural resources, especially referring to high-tech products, for instance:
It is expected that electric vehicles will make up 25% of global car fleet by
2040 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance), therefore, it will have an impact on
demand for oil and resources used in car batteries such as lithium, graphite
and cobalt. Meanwhile, increased mobile phone production has helped drive
demand for rare earth metals. The strong growth in solar power has driven
increased demand for silicon, used in photovoltaic cells.

 

However, due to rising demand linked to growing populations,
industrialization based on the burning of fossil fuels and the associated
pollution, it has become necessary to find ways of managing these natural
resources efficiently. Many emerging economies are major importers of natural
resources. This increased demand for natural resources makes improved resource
management even more urgent. Emerging countries realize the scarcity of natural
resources and have started to become more environmentally friendly. In this
paragraph we will look at the natural resources management as a counterargument
of the research statement. To ensure that natural resources help not only
support but also sustain growth, they need to be used efficiently, equitably
and sustainably. Policy makers in developing countries can play an important
role to support natural resource management for pro-poor growth. First,
development of co-operation can facilitate improved natural resource
management, for example, by funding projects to build the capacity of
community-based organizations to manage natural resources. It can encourage
clarification of land tenure and resource rights. It can promote the use of
tools such as participatory rural appraisal, strategic environmental assessment
and poverty and social impact assessment to enhance long-term thinking and
pro-poor strategic planning of natural resource use. Apart from that, emerging
markets begin to realize the reality of needing more electricity -generating
capacity, as well as stemming pollution – they have begun to transition
themselves into a renewable future to help make up the damage that their attempt
to growth causes.

 

All things considered, I can point out that emerging
economies influence natural resources since these countries are being
flourishing right now and are in need of more resources. However, it worth
mentioning that emerging countries are doing their best to reduce the negative
effect on environment and support sustainable growth.  Personally, I strongly believe that “sacrificing”
is not the right word to be utilized in this situation; sacrificing would be if
the emerging nations did not care about the consequences of their actions which
is not the case in the real world.

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